Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Saturday said the state government gives utmost importance to empowerment of women to make them economically self-reliant. Chief Minister Sonowal said this while taking part at the Mahila Samaroh, which was organized by the State Rural Livelihood Mission at Mirza in Kamrup district.
Sonowal in his speech also emphasised the need for greater proliferation of education amongst women to make them vital partners of the development process. The chief minister also ceremoniously distributed cheques amounting to Rs. 25,000 each to women Self-Help Groups (SHGs) under Kanaklata Mahila Sabalikaran Achoni.
Addressing a mammoth gathering of Self-Help Groups representing nine legislative assembly constituencies under Gauhati Lok Sabha constituency, Chief Minister Sonowal said the state government has taken up several projects aiming at empowering the women. He said when women become empowered that eventually leads to empowerment of the entire society.
Stating that education plays a significant role in boosting the skills and abilities of women, Sonowal said the state government gives priority to educating the women. He urged the women to join hands with the government in its initiatives in the education sector and urged them to take the role of conscious citizens in making moral, spiritual and technical education popular amongst the youth.
Chief Minister Sonowal also highlighted the examples of popular names of Chaygaon area, Alaka Das who has been engaged in household delivery of LPG cylinder on her bicycle for last ten years and ‘Village Rockstars’ famed Rima Das who exemplified women power in the state. Citing their examples, he said there is no dearth of talent and abilities amongst the women of the state.
Sonowal urged the women to be vigilant so that no evil force could destabilize the society and affirmed the government’s determination to not allow any such forces to negatively impact the society.
Underscoring the initiatives taken up by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during last four years of the union government, Sonowal said there is a qualitative change in the society due to the exemplary initiatives of the central government. He mentioned about the Prime Minister Jan Dhan Yojana and Swacch Bharat Mission, which have brought distinctive change in the society.
Sonowal also urged the women SHGs to prudently utilize the financial assistance provided to them and announced that the best performing three SHGs would be awarded rupees five lakh, three lakh and two lakh respectively.
Minister of Finance, Health and PWD Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma said former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee first launched the SHG scheme in the country and the state government is working to give a new dimension to the same through Kanaklata Mahila Sabalikaran Achoni. He also informed that under this new scheme, state government would provide financial assistance up to Rs. 5 lakh to the SHGs, which show remarkable performance in their chosen field of activity.
The Finance Minister also announced that the state government would launch the universalized old age pension scheme on October 2 in a bid to provide social security to all the senior citizens of the state irrespective of their economic condition. He also said that the state government would begin construction of 19 cancer care centres in designated hospitals with an expenditure of around Rs. 2,000 crore in the state on June 18.
Panchayat and Rural Development Minister Naba Kumar Doley while speaking on the occasion said that the state government would provide financial assistance of Rs. 25,000 each to 1.26 lakh SHGs under Kanaklata Mahila Sabalikaran Yojna, which would be increased up to Rs. 5 lakh in phased manner.
State Education Minister Siddhartha Bhattacharjya, MP Bijoya Chakraborty, MLA and HOUSEFED Chairman Ranjeet Dass also delivered speech on the occasion.
Minister of State for Irrigation Bhabesh Kalita and Minister of State for Town & Country Planning Pijush Hazarika, MLAs Pranab Kalita, Atul Bora, Suman Haripriya and Narayan Deka, Kamrup (Rural) DC, NRLM MD Nandita Hazarika and other officials of the department were present in the programme.